Tags: Hillary Clinton | Polls | Rove | Hillary | health | president | 2016

WashPo-ABC Poll: Majority Disapproves of Rove Comments on Hillary's Health

By    |   Wednesday, 28 May 2014 11:13 AM

Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Karl Rove's recent comments suggesting that Hillary Clinton's age and health are factors that undermine her suitability for the Oval Office, a Washington Post-ABC News poll has found.

In the survey of 1,017 people conducted May 21-25, 66 percent said they disapprove of the veteran GOP strategist raising questions about Hillary Clinton's age and health, while just 26 percent approve of his criticism.  The poll had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Earlier this month, Rove highlighted Clinton's fall in December 2012 and hospital stint after which she emerged wearing large, thick glasses.

The New York Post initially reported that Rove said the episode was evidence she had sustained brain damage. Rove subsequently said his comments were misrepresented, though he maintained she had suffered "a serious health episode."

On Monday, Rove stirred controversy again after saying a Clinton presidency would represent a third term of President Barack Obama, and that in politics "you don't want to be something old and stale." 

The Post-ABC poll also found that large majorities across all demographic groups, as well as Democrats and independents, said they disapprove of Rove's focus, including nearly half of those who say they would oppose Hillary Clinton as a candidate for president in 2016.

Overall, Republicans were evenly split on the issue, with 45 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving of Rove raising the issue. The only subset in which a majority approves of Rove's comments is conservative Republicans, at 52 percent.

"Republican strategist Karl Rove may need a different strategy to slow Hillary Clinton's 2016 candidacy," the Post said.

The Post noted that health questions, particularly for older candidates, have long been part of presidential campaigns, most recently in 2008 when polls indicated that four in 10 voters were "somewhat" uncomfortable with the idea of then-72-year-old John McCain taking office.

"The public's broad rebuke of Rove for floating questions about Clinton's health indicates the public may see the issue as more off-limits for Clinton, making criticism on these subjects more risky than for male presidential candidates in the past," the Post added.

"The numbers may also indicate that Rove is a decidedly flawed messenger to carry such questions in the minds of a majority of the public."

Rove has since appeared to soften his comments, saying that overall her health and age will be a "minor thing" in the 2016 campaign. 

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Two-thirds of Americans disapprove of Karl Rove's recent comments suggesting that Hillary Clinton's age and health are factors that undermine her suitability for the Oval Office, a Washington Post-ABC News poll has found.
Rove, Hillary, health, president, 2016
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2014-13-28
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 11:13 AM
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